More than two years ago, we introduced you to a young 3-gun competitor named Tyler Payne. After witnessing his performance at the 2009 LaRue Tactical 3-Gun Championship, we knew Payne was one to watch – and so did the Army. Now, more than two years later, SPC Payne is dominating the range at 3-gun competitions across the country as part of the Army Marksmanship Unit’s (AMU) Action Shooting Team.

His raw skill partnered with AMU training led SPC Payne to one of the greatest moments in his shooting career – taking first place at this weekend’s 2011 FNH 3-Gun Championship in Glengary, West Virginia. Beating out shooting legends like Jerry Miculek, Taran Butler, and Bruce Piatt, SPC Payne’s speed and accuracy took him straight to the top of the leaderboard. SPC Payne also bested his teammate, SSG Daniel Horner, who is typically a favorite to win.

Thanks to his incredible performance in West Virginia, SPC Payne advanced into the first part of 3-Gun Nation Championship and then into the 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off on Sunday. With another blazing run, SPC Payne earned himself a spot in the 3-Gun Nation Championship finale event. Taking place in January 2012 during the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, SPC Payne and seven other top-ranked shooters (stay tuned for who the other seven shooters are) will compete for an unprecedented prize – $50,000 in cash from Leupold and NBC Sports.

We’ll have more on the 3-Gun Nation finale event for you in the coming days, but here’s a look at who joined Payne at the top of the leaderboard in each Division. View the full results here.

  • Tactical Optics – Tyler Payne
  • Tactical Limited – James Casanova
  • Open – Jerry Miculek
  • Heavy Metal Irons – Barry Dueck
  • Heavy Metal Optics – Rob Romero

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